Indigenous Business Australia visit Alice Springs to discover the opportunities for Central Australian businesses
Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) staff and nominee directors travelled to Central Australia for two days of knowledge experiences, panel discussions and collaborative workshops facilitated by DKA. They had the opportunity to deepen their appreciation of Indigenous culture and gain an insight into the social and economic landscape of Central Australia.
Our guests had the rare and valuable opportunity to experience a tour of the town’s sacred sites led by Arrernte Elders Peter ‘Coco’ Wallace and Benedict Stevens, who shared local dreaming stories and their experiences of life on Arrernte country.
While it’s possible to purchase authentic made clapsticks, Arrernte man and Clapstick Talking Tours owner-operator Ken Lechleitner believes that in crafting the clapsticks yourself, you gain a deeper appreciation for the knowledge and physical efforts that produce the objects. In this workshop, participants began with long pieces of mulga wood, then gradually stripped, whittled, sanded and treated the wood until they had crafted two individualised clapsticks. While they worked, the participants talked with Ken about culture and country, which Ken says is a traditional way of learning in Arrernte culture – working while sitting at the feet of Elders and listening to their stories and wisdom. The guests’ handmade clapsticks gave them a lasting reminder of the knowledge gained in Alice Springs.
Central Australia is an unusual business environment to operate within. After providing a tasty lunch made from local, seasonal produce and bushfoods, Kungkas Can Cook owner Rayleen Brown shared the story of her business. In addition to the lessons that all business owners must learn, as an Indigenous woman Rayleen faced unique challenges, but also seized unusual opportunities. Rayleen has a strong relationship with women from the communities surrounding Alice Springs, who assist her in harvesting bushfoods. Rayleen is committed to providing support and opportunities to these women through her business.